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Dear Ciliate Researchers,
 We are preparing a “white paper” to present to the NHGRI Comparative Genome Evolution
working group in which we will propose whole genome shotgun sequencing of the T. thermophila
micronucleus and the macronucleus of five species from the Tetrahymena genus.  In consultation
with members of the research community, we have tentatively selected the following five species:
T. malaccensis, T. elliotti, T. pyriformis, T. vorax, and T. corlissi.  The first two were selected
primarily because of their close relatedness to T. thermophila.  Comparative genomics between
these three species will allow more accurate structural annotation of the genome of T.
thermophila, as has been done with great success with various Drosophila species, in relation to
D. melanogaster, various Saccharomyces species, in relation to S. cerevisiae, etc.  The other three
species are also members of the “borealis group”, at greater genetic distance from T. thermophila,
and so will also be of value for comparative genomics, but they were also selected for particular
interesting biological features.  T. pyriformis is amicronucleate and has been the subject of a
variety of experimental studies; T. vorax undergoes a developmental transformation from a
microstomal form that eats bacteria to a macrostomal form that eats other ciliates and also
undergoes reproductive cyst formation; and T. corlissi is a histophage that attacks tissues of fish
and amphibians.
 We believe the sequencing of of the thermophila MIC and the MAC of these five species
would provide a very valuable resource for the ciliate research community.  If you believe there are
strong reasons to modify the choice of species, please let us know.  On the other hand, if you
support our choices and/or would like to provide particular reasons why these sequences would
be valuable (apart from the ones already described above), please send us a brief summary ASAP
that we can use to strengthen the white paper.  We are not asking for letters of support, since the
NHGRI selection procedure is less formal than a standard grant proposal.  Just an email would be
great.

Regards,

Bob Coyne
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Ed Orias
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